Warm Up with Pi Beta Phi as temperatures drop

Sweet treats served an even sweeter cause during Pi Beta Phi sorority’s two-day philanthropy event to fight illiteracy. Pi Beta Phi promotes literacy both nationally and locally with “First Book” and “Read. Lead. Achieve.” through multiple fundraising events throughout the year.

On February 10th and 11th, 2016, members of the sorority took turns working shifts on the first floor of the Baker University Center where they sold homemade sugar cookies and hot chocolate. Students and faculty members alike who supported “Warm Up With Pi Beta Phi” expressed gratitude for the steamy beverage as the temperature dropped lower and lower.

Although some customers commented that it was far too early for sugar, many children walked away with smiles on their faces and cookies in hand.

The women had fun joking with students on their way to class and attempting to persuade them to support the worthy cause.

Take a cheat day from your spring break bod to eat some handmade Pi phi treats & help fight children's illiteracy

A video posted by Ohio Alpha Pi Beta Phi (@ohioupiphi) on

Above is a post by Pi Beta Phi’s official Instagram account at Ohio University. Cookies and hot chocolate sold for $1 each.

Megan Girvin, the spearhead of the event, is the vice president of philanthropy for the organization. She baked all of the sugar cookies for the event and then enlisted the help of other members to decorate them as a way for the women to bond and spend some time all together.

The women of Pi Beta Phi decorate sugar cookies for the upcoming philanthropy event.
The women of Pi Beta Phi decorate sugar cookies for the upcoming philanthropy event.

“We raised a little over $175, but being one of our smaller events, it was more about getting the girls involved,” said Girvin.

Leaders in the organization take every opportunity they can to promote member participation. Not only did Pi Beta Phi use this event to give back to the community, but it was also a way for new members to contribute and get to know more upperclassmen. The $175 will go toward supporting local schools in Athens County.

Girvin stated that Pi Phi will hold more philanthropies in the upcoming months. These events will earn significantly more money than Warm Up with Pi Beta Phi. The sorority will also hold “Knoodles for Knowledge” and “Pi Burger Phi” to support its campaign against illiteracy.

To find out more about the Ohio Alpha chapter of Pi Beta Phi, the organization’s website provides detailed information about its philanthropy and the chapter as a whole.

 

Black, White and the Meaning In-Between: The Ӕthelred Eldridge Mural

Part of the Eldridge muralBlack and white figures dance around the ceiling, telling me to come join them. They are almost taunting me, with their distorted limbs and smiling faces. Small sentence-like structures fence in the different humans, telling tales of writers past, greek mythology and music from different times. The wall that they live on stands so tall that I have to crane my neck to see the top, where the black paint ends and the plain ceiling starts. The air is crisp and runs through the opening to the psychedelic mural, whispering secrets to me from the artist, Ӕthelred Eldridge.

Athens is full of mysteries and places unseen by a lot of the student population. My favorite mystery resides on the side of the old Seigfred art building in a cove hidden from plain view. In 1966, the avant-garde artist and professor Ӕthelred Eldridge was commissioned to paint a mural on the side of the building in his famous style. His style is reminiscent of Mayan hieroglyphs mixed with Picasso-like figures, but he has his own twist that makes it uniquely his. Since then, some form of his work has been present on the side of the building, from almost all words to circular pieces to the now boxy figures that lie against the wall.

Æthelred Eldridge poses on scaffolding with his mural under the connecting bridge between two parts of Ohio University's art building, Siegfred Hall in 1966.
Æthelred Eldridge poses on scaffolding with his mural. Image: University Archives, Mahn Center for Archives and Special Collections, Ohio University Libraries

When I first saw the mural, I had no idea what I was looking it. To me, it looked like a jumble of lines and nonsense words with no actual meaning. But after being assigned to write a story about the rededication of the mural for The Post, I found a new, deeper meaning for the hidden, sacred portrait of the thoughts of Ӕthelred Eldridge. Eldridge, who is a deeply complex, innovative and ethereal thinker, shares his thoughts on the morality and experiences of the world on the wall in a beautifully simple, yet complex way. If you were to know nothing about the man, the mural would be just another piece of art to you. But after studying him and his life, I found the meaning of the mural, which makes it ever more beautiful.

So if you find yourself meandering around campus one day, stop, sit and look at the mural of the tortured genius Ӕthelred Eldridge on the back wall of Seigfred Hall. You may just find your new favorite spot in Athens.

 

Where is OU’s Bobkitten?

Source: OU Archives
Bobkitten and Bobcat

Did you know that the Ohio University mascot, Bobcat, had a wife called Bobkitten? Documents from Ohio University’s archives reveal that, the issue surrounding Bobcat and Bobkitten  is one of “the most highly guarded secrets.”

A Howard Hall senior, Fran Femia was the Bobkitten. Unfortunately, their ‘marriage’ was put asunder after two years by university officials, who said that character was not approved. Femia was disappointed and tried to give reasons why she should be allowed to continue alongside Mr. Bobcat because she had been in existence for at least 24 months. Moreover, Dad’s Weekend was approaching, and it was one of occasions she ceased  to entertain parents and guests. But that chance was taken away by the powers that be.

Their marriage, appeared to be a fruitful one as she even appeared with her husband, Mr. Bobcat on a New York show called “The World of Cats.” But Bobkitten was not needed in the world of cats by Ohio University authorities. Her end was near. The destruction of the kitten character succeeded when the all female Howard Hall was demolished in 1972. The Chi Omega sisters took on the dress back then but little is known of it now.

Photo Credit: Ohio University Archives

What Athens City Council did during the fall semester

For every complaint Ohio University students may have about their rental homes or disrepair of local sidewalks, there’s a local city representative to take it to, though students might not be keenly aware of that fact.

It’s true — someone is making the big decisions around here.

If you’re just catching up with the happening of Athens City Council — which meets every Monday at 7 p.m. in the Athens City Building at 8 E. Washington St. — that’s quite alright. The crew of seven members has been up to a few ordinances and resolutions this past fall semester, and if you feel that it applies to you, you’re always able to catch the next meeting and speak your mind (they’re open to the public.)

Some hubbub surrounding Airbnb

Athens City Council members aren’t the first to air concerns about Airbnb, a popular home-sharing company that boasts 46 rental properties in Athens and thousands nationwide. Residents (and lobbyists, of course) in Washington D.C. and particularly feisty homeowners in New Orleans have decried Airbnb for blurring the lines between hotel and rental service, citing the regulatory concerns and safety hazards typically not bestowed up it. More locally, Abe Alassaf, an Airbnb host in Athens, has recently taken to Athens City Council meetings to speak against a proposed city ordinance that would redefine “bed and breakfast” in the city’s code and possibly place new restrictions on Airbnb users. But, Athens City Planning Commission member Nancy Bain said the ordinance would address issues as simple as installing smoke and carbon dioxide detectors in such homes.

“It sounds like a law enforcement nightmare and an extreme waste of city resources and tax payer money if (city officials) really want to enforce this,” Alassaf said at an Athens City Council meeting in October, according to a Post article. 

Athens City Council members convene for their weekly council meeting where they write, discuss and adopt ordinances into code.
Athens City Council members convene for their weekly council meeting where they write, discuss and adopt ordinances into code. (Patrick Connolly | The Post)

Drilling in Wayne National Park

For the most part, the entirely-democratic city council has long been opposed to hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking, and the placement of injection wells in its jurisdiction.

So, when the federal government announced a few weeks back that, the nearby Wayne National Forest would be considered as a potential site for oil and gas developments. City council members chose to pass a resolution requesting forest management reconsider releasing any of its land to the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, and condemned oil and gas developments as “dangerous” to nearby aquifers.

However, Jackie Stewart, a spokeswoman for Energy In Depth Ohio, told The Post that such leasing has been going on in the region for years, and that there are more than 1,200 active wells in the Wayne National Forest.

Outside of Athens City Council, the Bureau of Land Management held a public hearing on the matter earlier this month that allegedly became contentious after a U.S. Forest Service Officer shoved an environmental activist, according to a Post report.  There were more than a hundred anti-fracking activists at the hearing, though those in support of oil and gas development in the region at the hearing said activists were becoming verbally aggressive.

Hoverboards aren’t that hip

Some call them hoverboards, others call them contraptions meant to kill their users. At an Athens City Council meeting in early November, the Athens Service Safety Director, Paula Horan-Moseley proposed an explicit ban on “electric personal assistive mobility devices” used for recreational purposes, according to a Post report. Her reason was that the devices can lead to congested walkways, and encourage racing among riders.

Nate Doughty stands on his hoverboard outside of Nelson Dining Hall on Oct. 8. (Michael Swensen | The Post)
Nate Doughty stands on his hoverboard outside of Nelson Dining Hall on Oct. 8. (Michael Swensen | The Post)

To be fair, that probably (totally) happens. The hands-free segways are hard to miss around Athens, as students are quickly taking to the device that encourages laziness and has probably resulted in a few head injuries. Still, if such a ban were to go through, students would be unable to use their hundred-dollar devices on Court Street and elsewhere. That’s a lot of pocket change to throw around on a device you can’t use. It pays to watch the government access channel.

Drama in the city building

For those that haven’t been following along, Athens City Auditor Kathy Hecht and Mayor Paul Wiehl have been at odds for several months now. Most recently, that contention was over an ordinance that would affect the vacation accrual of non-union city employees. Hecht even called Wiehl an “ass” at a November city council meeting, according to a Post report. She had said there were sections of the ordinance that directly contradicted with one another.

The spat stems from an incident last year where Hecht granted her employees a non-council approved 2-to-4 percent pay increase.

Finals study tips

Dear college freshmen,

So, you’re new – new to this whole college atmosphere, new to the concept of mid-terms and final exam papers counting for your entire semester grade. That’s a lot of pressure riding on just a few days of class and a handful of examinations.

But have no fear! I, as your trusted sophomore guide, will lead to the promised land of passed classes and leave you on your way to conquer the rest of your academic career with A’s and B’s galore*. These finals study tips may help ease your pain.

1. Go to class. 

Well, it’s a little too late now to heed this advice … but you should’ve known this was coming! The best way to feel prepared is to attend all of the class discussions and be present to ask questions. No one’s going to answer your Week 2 questions during Week 15. #sorrynotsorry

mindy kaling quote about being smart
Photo found on giphy.com

2. Take notes (especially notes not found on the PowerPoints).

I figured this tip out during one week of a really long lecture in Political Science 101. The professor was talking a mile a minute, and — try as I might — my left hand just couldn’t keep up with all the babble. But then, I started to think about it. All of the PowerPoint notes were on Blackboard; therefore, if I missed a note that was already on the screen, I could just copy it down later. I started to write down only the points NOT on the screen — the points that were just part of his babble — and that strategy has worked perfectly ever since. You see, it’s the babbling voice that’s going to be making the final exam, NOT the PowerPoint.

duh reaction darren criss buzzfeed
Photo found on giphy.com

3. Get plenty of sleep (like, at least 7 hours EVERY night).

I know, I know. You want to go out with your friends every night because you are an independent young woman (like me!) with no parents hovering over you, and the opportunity presents itself, and you’ve had a long day, blah blah blah. I don’t care if you’re the President of the United States, you and every other human being on this planet need a decent amount of sleep. And decent does not equate to 2.5 hours, with a nap in the afternoon, on a daily basis. That’s just a basic AP Psychology fact of life, so embrace it and sleep when the sun goes down (what a novel idea).

sleep tired sleepy exhausted
Photo found on giphy.com

4. Eat a breakfast, why don’t you. 

I’m always so puzzled at the people who proudly announce: “I’m just not a breakfast person.” That’s like saying, “Yeah, there’s this thing called AIR, and – you know? – I’m just not a fan of it. I’m choosing not to breathe today.” Um, sorry? Breakfast, or any kind of food (not just coffee), in the morning is what helps start your metabolism, helps you think clearly for the rest of the day. If you’re sitting in an exam and all you can fantasize about is what you’re having for lunch … sorry, you’re never going to answer those 58 multiple choice questions to the best of your ability. Maybe, if you had some granola or a pancake (or two), you just might think clearly enough to finish the test without salivating for a sandwich.

parks and recreation amy poehler eating leslie knope breakfast
Photo found on giphy.com

5. Be organized. 

This skill of organization comes in handy during the week before finals, when you’re looking for all of your notes throughout the entire semester and starting to study. It doesn’t help much if your notes on the Revolutionary War for History are mixed in with your notes on the Argentine Tango for Dance class. I like to keep a separate two-pocket folder for every class, and keep all my like-minded notes in distinct notebooks (example: all my Journalism class notes are stored together, while I have a separate notebook for Women’s Gender and Sexuality Studies). Color coding materials is also super helpful for me. I try and pair up the color of the notebook with the color of the folder (is that too extreme?). Whatever your method, make sure you stick with the same organizational pattern throughout the semester. You’ll be thanking yourself, come finals week.

computer office the it crowd messy
Photo found on giphy.com

6. PANIC! (just kidding, don’t panic) 

Relax. If you’ve been going to class, taken copious notes, slept a decent amount, always eat your breakfast, and are organized to the max — what do you have to worry about? The people who stress and freak over finals are usually ill-prepared. But you’re not! You’ve listened to my advice and are ready to knock these finals out of the park! (I see you there, baseball reference.) But, if you start to get nervous in the examination — and you’ve done all that you can do to prepare for the test — take a deep breath. Reflect on all that you’ve done to prepare up until this moment of anxiety, close your eyes, and say to yourself: I’ve done all I can do. I’ve done the best that I can. Now, I will prove that I am ready. Framing it like this has always helped me calm down and perform to the best of my ability. And really, that’s all that anyone is asking you to do.

scared scream minions panic freak out
Photo found on giphy.com

(Don’t be like this minion.)

7. Treat yo self. 

I always forget this part about finals week. I’ve just worked my butt off, trying to wrap up an entire semester of classes, projects, exams, and team peer evaluations (just, ew) that I get burned out pretty quickly if I don’t take an evening for myself, every once in a while. I like to practice yoga, or go to the gym, as my way of “treating myself” for a week of hard work — and finals week is no exception. If you feel confident about your exam, go out and celebrate! Buy some ice cream, or buy that book you wanted to get from Barnes and Noble (but you’ve been too cheap to press “Place Order”). It’s all part of that healthy balance of commitment to school and self-preservation.

yoga rolling mat
Photo found on giphy.com

8. Don’t study all night. 

Ever seen those Snapchats from your peers who are studying at the library, all the way up until 5 in the morning? Tempting, right? Seems like they’re really dedicated to their studies, right? But … remember that other point I made about sleep? I always feel in a better state of mind when I sleep more than I study in one night (excluding a day’s worth of classes). That’s because I’ve spent all semester learning, finals week is just me regurgitating all the information I’ve learned (a lovely mental picture you got right there, me spitting up facts about lede blocks and nut grafs, I’m sure). So don’t think 12 hours in a library will make you more intelligent. If you haven’t taken your studies seriously up until the moment of the exam, you’re (just a little) screwed — no matter how long you sit in the company of scholarly texts during finals week.

guide hogwarts exams taking studyblue
Photo found on giphy.com

9. Know that this is not the end. 

So, let’s say all my tips can’t save you from a failing grade on your final exam. So what? Sometimes, things just happen, and we have to be humble enough to let them go. Maybe, you just weren’t ready to take on that Physics exam. Maybe, that class was a little bit more challenging than you expected. Whatever it was, it’s over. There’s nothing that can change your grade, once the semester ends. Breathe; be humble; and move on. But take it as a lesson: What have you learned from this class? What can you do better next semester? College, like life, has a learning curve. So, don’t beat yourself up over one missed opportunity. Happens to the best of us. Stay strong, stay committed, and come back even stronger next year — a whole lot wiser than last year.

pokemon pikachu sigh relief phew
Photo found on giphy.com

*Satisfaction not guaranteed. I am not liable for any of your course grades, you do that yourself.

Cover photo found here on giphy.com. 

No update on investigation of suspicious note

oupd email screenshotAbout two weeks ago, Ohio University Police Department, OUPD, sent an email to students and school employees containing a message from Chief Andrew Powers regarding a suspicious note they found “mentioning a violent act”.

Even though the note didn’t mention a specific place or person, it was enough to make the Police Department express concern being only six days removed from the tragedies in Paris.

Chief Powers later described changes in security measures that recently happened as a result of “world events” (likely meaning the attacks on Paris and elsewhere) and advised that university employees and students “be attentive to their work spaces and observant of their surroundings.”

Although there was no threat expressed in the note and the risk was “very low”, OU police still investigated it. However, since then there have been no announcements or updates and Chief Powers could not be reached for comment on the OUPD investigation.

In all, there’s no reason to believe that anyone was or is in any danger, but this just goes to show the effects that acts of terrorism have on the mindsets of everyone all over the world, regardless of place of residency.

Here is what you missed in Athens over the Thanksgiving break

Many Ohio University students leave Athens for Thanksgiving Break, but news does not stop to eat turkey and mashed potatoes.

Here’s news you may have missed while you were away:

The Post: Fetty Wap, whose debut album, “Fetty Wap,” hit number one on Billboard’s Hot 200 chart in September, was announced as the headliner for 14Fest in April.

The Athens NEWS: An Ohio University student accidentally discharged her pepper spray in Alden Library on Friday. This led to the evacuation of the building’s second floor.

Athens Messenger: A ribbon cutting ceremony was held Tuesday for the finally-renovated Richland Avenue. Local and state officials as well as construction crews gathered to celebrate the completed project.

The Post: The Ohio University football team beat Northern Illinois 26-21 Tuesday. The Bobcats have sophomore A.J. Oullette to thank for the victory.

The Athens NEWS: Next year’s numerous government races are starting to heat up. Rep. Debbie Phillips, D-Albany, is term-limited by state law so her position in Ohio’s 94th House District is up for grabs with several candidates already declaring their intention to run.

Athens Messenger: An acclaimed countertenor is set to perform in Athens on Thursday at the Christ Lutheran Church on Mill Street. Terry Barber has sang with the likes of Madonna, Chaka Khan and Jewel.

15 thoughts on the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade

For 89 years, all of America has shared in one Thanksgiving tradition: watching the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. It is broadcast on NBC for three hours and takes up about 2. 5 miles of New York’s streets.

The 2015 parade featured 17 giant balloons, 12 marching bands, 27 floats and close to the same number of celebrities.

Watching the parade isn’t my personal family tradition, but I sat through the broadcast to see what all the hubbub was about. Here are my thoughts:

1. Loving that the first hour of the parade is actually dedicated to Broadway and not the actual parade. Is that so the rest of it can catch up on the 2.5 mile walk?

2. As much as I’m all for an hour of Broadway, the Macy’s parade isn’t the greatest outlet to showcase something rooted in live performance. The performances really lacked the luster they typically have. Even Something Rotten!‘s fabulous “A Musical” number was tarnished by lip sync.

fallontonight tonight show musical broadway tony awards

3. The casts of The King and IFinding Neverland and School of Rock the Musical didn’t even have mics on. At least pretend, you’re not lip syncing.

4. NBC really capitalizes on the event. It not only had the cast of The Wiz Live! perform a sneak peek, but it also had random interviews with the celebrities of its upcoming shows Telenovela and Superstore, in addition to already-airing Blindspot.

yahoo tv wizard of oz diana ross dorothy gale the wiz

5.  What other time do you get to hear Matt Lauer explain the premise of Spongebob Squarepants as the giant square balloon floats by? Magic.

SpongeBob SquarePants nickelodeon 2013 thanksgiving spongebob

6. Who decides which artist is paired with which float? As in, who decided Daughtry would best pair with the Avocados from Mexico float? And Shawn Mendes on Pirate’s Booty?
avocado

7. While we’re talking about the acts, who picks the lineup? Since when have the Plain White T’s or Daughtry been relevant? How about Christian rock group MercyMe? Shout out to whoever got Pat Benatar though. That was outstanding.

American Idol interview cool jennifer lopez jlo

8. When does Underdog get away again?

underdog_gets_away
9. Snoopy and Woodstock are still my favorite balloons. Snoopy has appeared in the parade more than any other character.

dancing excited snoopy woo oh yeah

10. How much do viewers at home miss when they cut to advertisements? Wouldn’t you be super disappointed if you were that marching band or that dance group that got skipped over?

11. What does it take to help hold the balloons? Apparently, a decent amount.

12. Matt Lauer and Al Roker, for whatever reason, found it hilarious that Savannah Guthrie said “nut mobile” when Planters had its turn in the parade. Either that’s an inside joke or they are just as immature as the masses.

matt lauer dancing today show

13. The adults dancing on the floats are living life right now with their corny-as-hell moves while the actual children look rather miserable.

liv tyler dancing excited awkward

14. The puns are out of this world. Thank you Savannah for this gem: Pikachu has an “always electric” personality.

pikachu thanksgiving balloon float macys thanksgiving day parade

15. Instead of having dozens of lip syncing artists, feature more performance groups, such as the 610 Stompers and the Kruti Dance Academy. Those are acts most people don’t typically get to see and they can actually display their talents and not just mouth along to it.

If the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade isn’t a longstanding tradition in your family, you probably won’t get why it’s such a big deal. It’s quite a spectacle. Macy’s spends an undisclosed amount on it, and it shows. It’s not something viewers need to dedicate three hours to, but it’s worth it to have it on in the background while you prep Thanksgiving dinner and set the table.

National Geographic comes to Ohio University for GIS Day 2015

Dennis Dimick, National Geographic Environment Editor, comes to Ohio University on November 18.
Dennis Dimick, National Geographic Environment Editor, comes to Ohio University on November 18.

If you’re one of my faithful Facebook friends, you’ll know that I’ve had an obsession with National Geographic (and their reputation in the environmental communications field) since high school. So, when I got an email in early October about the keynote speaker for Ohio University’s GIS Day — Dennis Dimick, Environment and Photography Editor for Nat Geo — I could barely contain my excitement!

And part of what makes my job as an Undergraduate Research Scholar at the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs’ Environmental Studies Masters program so great is that I got to cover the GIS Day events on Twitter, as a social media aficionado. How cool is that?

Here are some of the highlights from Dennis Dimick’s presentation, “The Big View: Stewardship in the Age of Man,” as captured on social media.

The presentation was sponsored by multiple departments and entities across Ohio University’s campus: Ohio University (obviously); GIS Day organizers; the Scripps College of Communication, who hosted the keynote presentation in its brand-new Schoonover Center; the Department of Geography; the Voinovich School; the Consortium for Energy, Economics and the Environment (CE3); the Sustainability Studies and Fire to iPhone themes; and the Ohio chapter of the Urban and Regional Information Systems Association (URISA). Ohio University’s Zero Waste team, a Voinovich-assisted initiative who’s social media I actively contribute to, was a partner for the event as well.

https://twitter.com/bethanynbella/status/667026776976203776

Several of my Voinovich School peers — as well as journalism faculty members from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism — were in attendance for the keynote address.

https://twitter.com/bethanynbella/status/667029993353052162

Dennis Dimick began the presentation talking about his background as a journalist and his interest in the environment. Dimick’s childhood growing up on a farm in Oregon’s Willamette Valley heavily influenced both of his degrees in agriculture and agricultural journalism from Oregon State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, respectively.

https://twitter.com/bethanynbella/status/667031676934103041

Then, we moved on to the topic of the day: the Age of Humans (otherwise known as the Anthropocene in recent environmental discourse). Dimick touched on energy, the future of food, and population growth — all issues that he’s worked on through various National Geographic Magazine initiatives since the early 2000s.

https://twitter.com/bethanynbella/status/667032697710256133

With beautiful, compelling photographs and graphs, Dimick drove home the issue of rapidly increasing carbon dioxide atmospheric concentrations that we’re likely to witness over the next century.

https://twitter.com/bethanynbella/status/667035288007540737

So, with all this doom and gloom about climate change and negative environmental impacts, what’s the future of our planet? Do we have a chance to save the environment?

https://twitter.com/bethanynbella/status/667038373505327104

Dimick ended his presentation focusing on the promise of human ingenuity and sustainability — and how the future of the Earth is up to us!

https://twitter.com/bethanynbella/status/667039197400821761

Contrary to popular discourse, the environment is a multi-disciplinary issue, involving economics, science, politics, and education. And there are feasible, economically viable solutions to mitigate serious environmental hazards within the next century — but we have to start moving towards a more sustainable mindset in the very near future to prevent serious, irreversible damage to our planet.

https://twitter.com/bethanynbella/status/667040152070549504

Climate change is truly the issue of our generation, but it’s not a lost cause (yet!). Everyday actions to improve energy efficiency and mindfulness when electing government representatives can all positively impact our environment — and the future of mankind.

The Fun Barn: A Hunger Games experience

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Though the small town is not home to much, one of the most fun places in Southeast Ohio lies less than 40 minutes north of Athens in Nelsonville, Ohio.

I went to The Fun Barn, 14333 US-33, Thursday night with my best friend to watch the premiere of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 2. Earlier in the day, I trained for the event by watching the first two movies, The Hunger Games and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, but didn’t have time to partake in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay, Part 1.

The Fun Barn is part Chuck E. Cheese’s-esque game fun and part movie theater. It is also far and away the cheapest movie going experience I have ever had. Tickets to this show were $4 and a large pizza only costs $5.

Prior to the movie, Arielle and I embraced our inner childhood by sharing the games with sticky-handed toddlers. Customers can pay $5 for a card with $4 on it and swipe it to play games. I chose to play Whack-a-Mole and a game in which I beat a piñata very rapidly. I don’t know if this says more about my inner anger issues or that I love the noise of an old mallet hitting a metal box over and over.

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We were the first two people in Theater 9, but were quickly neighbored by Katniss lovers young and old looking to participate in the end of one of the most popular film series ever. The room soon filled and the lights dimmed. Quickly, Arielle and I suffered a case of the giggles for the first five minutes and I thoroughly apologize to anyone who was sitting near us.

The movie itself, like every other film in the saga, was amazing. I read the books in middle school and was all for feature film versions. There weren’t too many audience-centric moments that everyone in the theater expressed the same emotion at the same time, something that surprised me since massive series are typically are full of these moments. However, at least no one clapped at the end.

Not only do I recommend seeing the movie in general, but I do highly urge people to make an event out of it and go to Fun Barn with some friends. It’s cheap and a break from Athens, two things that every Ohio University student needs.